So as we enter the penultimate year of the Brexit chaos, people’s minds are turning to how we reverse the whole mess before it’s too late.
Well remoaners, don’t let the completely reversible article 50 fool you. If anything transition periods give time both to show the damage of Brexit and to build disillusionment with the false promises of the demagogues who would represent Leave.
It’s not over until the fat lady sings, so here’s my simple four point guide to what needs to happen and how we get there.
1. What’s Needed
Regardless of your political affiliation, your views on advisory votes, whether you think the whole thing was gerrymandered, or even if you know Leave is a farce funded by tax evaders, the case for a second referendum is indisputable. Truth is Brexit was chosen by a majority and only extremists on either side want to debate the finer points. If Brexit is to be overturned, it needs to be similarly stopped.
And for the love of God let this be the last referendum we ever have…
2. How do we get there?
The optimal time to judge Brexit is once the deal is concluded with Brussels. The choice on the table needs to be Deal/No Deal (whatever they get to) vs. Status Quo, which would entail cancelling article 50 and returning to the Stays Quo. The democratic deficit right now is that the Government is conspiring with the opposition to remove the Status Quo option from the table leaving all of us with a Hobsons Choice, ie. Bad Brexit or Even Worst Brexit.
There’s no good reason the choice shouldn’t include the status quo, it’s just not being offered for reasons of politic and because Leave is funded by tax evaders. So how do we get that choice on the table?
3. The Status Quo Option
There are conceivably two routes.
Option a) the Tories come to their senses. There is still a majority of Tory MPs who are one nation Conservatives and know Brexit is nuts, they’re just timidly biding their time. Hints are even in the ether that BJ himself will have a Damascene conversion, possibly on the back of Russian interference, and decide that the status quo needs to be put to the vote. So how do you influence this outcome? You’re not going to like the answer…
… Join the Conservative Party. Yeah. I know. Hideous right? But Theresa May’s lifetime is limited and if you really want to have an influence, that’s the way. We need to do to the Tories what Momentum did the Labour. Ask yourself, was there ever a more important issue for you to do the impossible, for you to swallow your tongue and go for it? I’m afraid this is the moment. So sign up baby, and flagelate yourself on the QT if you need to.
Option b) The tories erupt in a spectacular way, ousting May and forcing a General Election. Now Labour has a chance, however Labour as it stands right now is not hopeful. Corbyn is choosing to stay out of the EU for his own dreams of a communist future. So what do you do?
Also join the Labour Party.
Ok, think about it this way. Most of the data already suggests Corbyn has lost the popular support of the youth who are angry with his turncoat refusal to battle Brexit. The only chance Labour has to get elected is to be at least neutral on brexit and win back that youth vote, and the way they signal that is a status quo option in their manifesto. How do you get that in? Be part of a vocal majority demanding it.
I wish I could have added a Lib Dem option. But with an out of touch leader and a failure to build a progressive alliance with the Greens they’re unfortunately out of the game. There was an anti brexit cross party alliance option they could have been part of but they fluffed it by electing Vince Cable.
For Scottish readers there is a prop up Corbyn option for the SNP but that’ll happen anyway if Status Quo is on the table, so I won’t distract myself with the intricacies of Holyrood.
4. Never Forget the Moderates
If you’re reading this, you, like me, are probably a remainiac, remoaner, or otherwise extremist remain advocate. Don’t make the mistake of thinking you have the common view. You don’t.
However, on the bright side, neither do the Brextremists.
The status quo vote will be won by the roughly 60-70% between either extreme. This is a group who are mostly or completely unengaged by brexit and care about real things (to them) like the NHS, schooling, pensions and jobs. Brexit is mostly a disaster for all of the above, but no one yet had explained how and more importantly noone had adequately explain how voting for the EU is an advantage (most of our arguments by default have been about loss of benefits). So when you’re speaking online, disengage from the brextremist fanatics. You can’t persuade them and they can’t shift you. Instead find the moderates and start building hope for a future in the EU for them, vs despair, chlorinated chicken, a failing NHS and a diminished sterling pension pot outside of the EU. This group had to want to decide the deal. If anything their rallying cry should be to Take Control of the decision. That’s where victory lies…
I’ll add to this over time, so feel free to add your comments below, particularly if you have additions or amendments to make this stronger. And keep up the fight. Brexit is a generational fight that’s about progress versus a bunch of lost in the past reactionaries. Remain can be won, but it’s a marathon, not a sprint.
In this well reasoned article Nick Clegg looks at what happens if the meaningful vote rejects Brexit.
No cliff edge, simply a status quo continuation
And here Blair argues for an option to compare the status quo with the alternative.